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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2010, Article ID 724962, 13 pages
Review Article

Smart Sensing Technologies for Structural Health Monitoring of Civil Engineering Structures

1Department of Engineering Structures and Mechanics, School of Science, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sheffield University, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK

Received 31 August 2009; Revised 7 December 2009; Accepted 3 May 2010

Academic Editor: Jinying Zhu

Copyright © 2010 M. Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) aims to develop automated systems for the continuous monitoring, inspection, and damage detection of structures with minimum labour involvement. The first step to set up a SHM system is to incorporate a level of structural sensing capability that is reliable and possesses long term stability. Smart sensing technologies including the applications of fibre optic sensors, piezoelectric sensors, magnetostrictive sensors and self-diagnosing fibre reinforced composites, possess very important capabilities of monitoring various physical or chemical parameters related to the health and therefore, durable service life of structures. In particular, piezoelectric sensors and magnetorestrictive sensors can serve as both sensors and actuators, which make SHM to be an active monitoring system. Thus, smart sensing technologies are now currently available, and can be utilized to the SHM of civil engineering structures. In this paper, the application of smart materials/sensors for the SHM of civil engineering structures is critically reviewed. The major focus is on the evaluations of laboratory and field studies of smart materials/sensors in civil engineering structures.